Home Technology Is Google Assistant about to LAP Siri?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by Julien, May 11, 2018.

  1. Julien macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #1
    We all know that Siri has been just one beat above stagnate since it was released. We have all heard Apple's promises of the great things to come (like the Home Pod dude [as far as Siri goes]). In 2011 Siri was a revolution with such promise that I expected in 5 years to be having a natural conversation with it and Siri to be able to do just about everything in the Apple ecosystem. Now we know that Apple has suffered continuous infighting and lack of direction with Siri. Siri looks to be lost and near dead.

    https://www.macrumors.com/2018/03/14/siri-has-turned-sour-report/

    It looks like the 'dream' of a natural assistant is NOT going to be Siri but instead Google Assistant. This is almost stunning at how will it is working already. This is very sad since we know Apple won't open up the iPhone to Assistant and Siri is going to be MILES behind it. Been an Apple iOS devotee since standing in line for the original iPhone (had iPod/Mac before that), however in the next few years I may be forced to switch over to the dark side as Apple falls farther and FARTHER behind. Hate being so pessimistic but after watching Google's 'real world' demos I'm blown away at how far Siri is behind Assistant. If you have't seen it watch this and be amazed.


    https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/8/17332070/google-assistant-makes-phone-call-demo-duplex-io-2018
     
  2. sunapple macrumors 65816

    sunapple

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    #2
  3. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #3
    siri is fine for basic tasks but if you want a voice assistant for news and most questions then google assistant is miles ahead. I use siri for my homepod music/podcasts/shopping list/timers but will use my google mini for everything else. Simply a much smarter assistant. Apple needs something big for IOS 12 with siri.
     
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #4
    It’s too late for anything to “Lap” Siri. Everyone else left Siri in the dust so long ago that they’re Thousands of miles ahead of her. Siri is the only one still on the circle track... everyone else broke free and blasted out into uncharted territory. You know, kinda like Apple did once. Two bad they decided to call it quits and head back to the safety box.
     
  5. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    #5
    I think Siri was already being lapped. Duplex has just shown how far ahead google really are.

    However until duplex comes out Siri on the iPhone is good enough for most things. It just needs to be be improved on the HomePod.
     
  6. DNichter macrumors 603

    DNichter

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    #6
    Google is ahead in this area for obvious reasons, but I wouldn't say lap. If Apple completely disregarded privacy, they could implement some of these features by iOS 12. Instead, they are trying to work through ways to add similar features while not diving deep into their customers info. I ultimately think they'll need to offer an opt in for such features. This would be fine in my opinion as I trust Apple not to use my data for advertising. Google, not so much. Both companies make promises, but when one makes the majority of their revenue from advertising, it's hard to buy. Either way, for me, I don't use voice assistants outside of my home (HomePod) and it works great for just that (HomeKit and Music).
     
  7. bbednarz macrumors regular

    bbednarz

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    #7
    I don't think there is any doubt Google Assistant and Alexa are far more advanced than Siri. I just wonder how much it really matters in practical use. I have a HomePod and a few Alexa's throughout my house. I use them to control my lights and a few smart plugs. In my experience Siri on the HomePod is better at hearing me from longer distances and quieter volumes than Alexa. Besides HomeKit I use Siri to play music and occasionally check the weather. Timers are a shortcoming with Siri because you can only set one at a time.

    The demo they put on with google assistant setting the appointment I feel is still years away from being able to be used reliably. There are so many different nuances like accents, noisy surroundings, and just general questions that the assistant will not be able to answer. I don't mean to downplay that technology because it really is remarkable based on the presentation, just seems a long way off.
     
  8. ericwn macrumors 65816

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    #8
    When you say everyone - who exactly is that in your opinion? And could you provide me with a few examples from practical real life that highlight where the benefits lie with these other assistants?
     
  9. bbednarz macrumors regular

    bbednarz

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    #9
    I can give one example. A few weeks ago I asked Alexa what time Silicon Valley was on tv, she was able to tell me the answer. Siri wanted to search google for me. This is truly my only example though. I don't ask the smart speakers many questions.
     
  10. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #10
    Having Siri be able to pick the right song from my library would be a start.

    Having her be able to do at least one basic function would be useful.

    All I ever get is a snarky response of how she can’t do that, or didn’t get that, or brings up some totally unrelated google search.
     
  11. ericwn macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Ok, so it doesn’t play your music wishes - fair point. Which service do you prefer that you have made better experience with in this regard?

    What other basic functions do you have in mind?
     
  12. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #12
    even if the homepod can add calendar and making phone calls support that would be a big improvement
     
  13. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    #13
    Siri on the HomePod needs to be able to do most of what Siri on the iPhone can do. It needs to be able to make calls, to set calendar events, to control Apple TV with voice commands.
     
  14. Julien, May 15, 2018
    Last edited: May 15, 2018

    Julien thread starter macrumors G4

    Julien

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    #14
    Did you listen to the actual examples? These people have NO idea they are dealing with Google Assistant. Talk about passing the Turing test. Siri is not even in the same ballpark as this. Google Assistant is about to be light years ahead.

    https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html
     
  15. DNichter macrumors 603

    DNichter

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    #15
    Yes, it's a demo. Personally I hope Apple never heads in this direction, but glad you're excited about it.
     
  16. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

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    #16
    Yeah that for me would be a good improvement and I think by 11.4 we should see that
     
  17. bbednarz macrumors regular

    bbednarz

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    #17
    They definitely need to make Siri be Siri regardless if its on the Mac, Watch, iPhone, HomePod, Apple TV, etc. Siri on all devices should be able to perform the same tasks. Shouldn't need to know what each device can do.
     
  18. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #18
    I think for the most part this should be true. For functions that you'd expect to work, like making phone calls for example. And I think Apple is gearing up to do this, it seems like a lot of the ground work is already laid. The fact its in the Home app gives them access to individual voice data. So it shouldn't take too much more work for the HomePod to be able to differentiate between you and someone else on your invited home user list. I think once that is done it will close that fragmentation gap that currently exist.

    However a lot of functions are device specific. Asking Siri what my heart rate is on my Apple Watch, play a movie on my AppleTV, and/or find a file on my Mac are functions the HomePod just isn't equipped to do. While that stuff could be done in a sense (ex the HomePod polls the Apple Watch which sends heart rate data back to the HomePod) we are a pretty long way off due to so many variables and inconsistencies that would arise (ex play a movie, which AppleTV? where do you want the same to come from? etc etc). Might get there one day though.
     
  19. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    #19
    The google home has no problems getting the chromecast to play stuff on the TV. It can even get it to play third party stuff from Netflix.
     
  20. cynics macrumors G4

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    #20
    I thought we were all under the impression Googles implementation was bad enough to not be represented here.

    The Google Home is "casting" data to the ChromeCast from content providers you have linked to it. Of the 9 services available only 3 are noteworthy (HBO, Starz and Netflix). You need to be unrealistically specific and have no way of browsing so you'll still rely on a smart device which might as well just be a Siri remote at that point.

    Once its running the Google Home is preoccupied and it doesn't take much to disrupt the stream.

    I think its a great use of the Google Home to move the cast of your smart phone but tough to compare to a standalone device like that AppleTV.

    Android TV implementation illustrates a lot of the other issues with "ok google". Obvious is with set top boxes the box is tucked away so the mic can't hear you well enough. Plus inadvertent Google device activation. Most just have the mic button on the remote we are familiar with already on the Siri remote.

    Android TV control via Google Home is supposedly "coming soon" (from that last time I read about it) which I think will be a much better comparison of how it should or shouldn't be done. But currently its half baked IMO.

    EDIT: Not knocking Google I feel they produce amazing stuff, much of it being impressively innovative but have a tendency to throw stuff at the wall, overlook the finer details, and put out things before they are really useful. Once they commit to something though its amazing how fast it grows and the amount of features they cram in.
     
  21. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

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    #21
    Whilst I agree that casting isn’t as stable as streaming on the Apple TV, I don’t have to be specific when asking for something to play from Netflix. I can literally say ok google play breaking bad and it will start playing.
     
  22. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #22
    I'm glad to hear it works well for you. I've only use it at a friends and its mostly for YouTube and I found if I wasn't oddly specific it was difficult. Admittedly there is a difference there.

    Fair enough though lets say it worked for both of us great.

    What is your main necessity for this functionality? How would you use the AppleTV and HomePod that would sell me on the idea?

    I'm a bit cynical but I feel like there would be a ton of limitations that can be solved by just pressing the Siri button on the remote. But I'm not dismissing the idea, there are a few controls that would be convenient to be done by voice but a "few controls" = people complaining about limitations and how useless it is etc etc....
     

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